Alert neighbour Stuart Hudd, who forced his way into a Calne house with another resident after smelling smoke, has downplayed his bravery.
He was woken by the fire alarm in the Ogilvie Square at around 3am on Tuesday, rung Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Mr Hudd, 34, who works for HM Foam and Upholstery in Shelburne Road, said: “I just thought it might have been a false alarm, but then I smelt smoke.
"It was a bit of a panic when I thought they might be in there.
“We did force entry, but the smoke was too bad. The fire engine turned up ten minutes later, but that’s still a long time if someone is trapped.
"Anyone would do the same if your neighbour’s house is on fire, you have to look after them.
"I’m glad they had a fire alarm because otherwise it would have damaged the rest of the terrace.”
Fire crews from Calne and Chippenham rushed to the scene, finding a fire in an airing cupboard.
The house is owned by GreenSquare and Mike Mehaffy, group head of asset management, said: “Cases like this really highlight the importance of having a working smoke alarm, something which GreenSquare provides as standard in all of its properties.
“We have arranged alternative accommodation for the residents of the property while we carry out the necessary repairs.”
A fire and rescue service spokesman said: “Thankfully the occupants of the property were not in at the time of the fire, however, a pet rabbit was rescued from the ground floor of the property.
“While no one was present in the property, the presence of working smoke alarms raised the alarm at an early stage and helped to ensure that the size of the fire and damage it caused was limited.”
Information about free checks offered by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is available at http://www.wiltsfire.gov.uk/homefiresafetychecks or call 0800 389 7849.